KEY SCRIPTURE 2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
God calls all believers to follow His Son, whom He appointed to lay down His life to be moulded by His Father's Words. He calls us to be developed by those exact Words. Is it happening?
Paul's second letter to Timothy is rich in cautions. He writes to warn his young protege of various dangers and pitfalls when dealing with himself and others.
I am so glad Paul included these two now-famous verses, as they outline essential messages for every spiritual traveller.
In them, Paul briefly explains to Timothy the benefits of scripture by showing him the profitability for those who come to Christ, of adhering to God's wisdom.
King Solomon explained to his son that continual study without applying it is a waste of time. "...of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh." Ecclesiastes 12:12
Study is indeed a weariness to the flesh if all we do is read without improvement.
I have read many good books, each with great teaching lessons or stories I've applied to my own life. But I also acknowledge the plethora of wisdom I have not applied. Those jewels of life I have left dangling from a hanger instead of being around my neck in adornment.
Paul's profitability only works when we put on the principles: when we adorn ourselves by changing from what we are to what we should be in Christ.
The High Priests of Israel wore magnificent attire, bejewelled in various colours and shapes of gold, silver and precious stones, each item with its spiritual meaning and explanation. God expects us to put on or dress in the wisdom of scripture. God designed it to produce results, then presented it to humanity by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit with one desired effect—to craft and mould us into Holy Ones, the finished product.
If we merely read without a plan to unquestionably change, we become those people James spoke of when he said, "For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was."
When we are challenged by the Word and walk away, we forget how unacceptable we are. Through pride alone, we conveniently dismiss that we are dung needing transformation. Once again, we approve our faults and sins as if permissible while judging others for there's.
By personally withholding correction of our deficiencies, we never move to the next level of progress we see in John's epistles. John speaks of the spiritual planes from being children (still complaining about life and blaming others) to young men (willing to take up the challenge of overcoming the flesh) and then to fathers (overcome most problems, wise). (1 John 2:12-14).
We deny ourselves the chance to become thoroughly furnished if we read without replacing those unsavoury elements of our nature. Most of us know our underdeveloped or sinful areas and rarely need others to remind us. The Word of God does that adequately by itself.
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12.
Let us then sanction the Word to do its job within us and make those fundamental refinements for which we are so desperate. By doing that, the Lord can have His way with our hearts and minds.
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"
2 Corinthians 10:5
If we commence our change with this one scripture, our relationship with God and others will grow exponentially, our sins and faults will drop off, and joy and peace will pour into our lives like a flood.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the inspiration I receive from your Word. It's easy to see I have read more scripture than I have put into action. Please help me and my Christian brothers and sisters to move forward with obedience to your Words, thereby maturing in the ways that please you.
Photo by Brad Starkey